Carl Andrews' The Strolling Magician Video (PAL VHS)
Reviewed by David Hawkins

Strolling (or walkround) magic is becoming one of the most popular forms of close-up, where the magician mingles with guests at a cocktail party or reception. However this style of performance poses a few unique problems, the most important being that since everyone is standing, all effects have to be performed in the hands and carried in the pockets. Magical videos and books concentrating on strolling close-up are few and far between (Dynamic FX brought out an excellent video several years ago), so this new video from Carl Andrews is very welcome.

Carl demonstrates some excellent routines specifically designed for strolling - in particular a superb presentation for the unlinking bands, and a very commercial approach to Ring Flight. He also dispenses a great deal of relevant advice and suggestions for overcoming some of the practical problems you are likely to face.

Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed with two aspects - firstly he breaks the cardinal rule of magic videos by not showing the material being performed live. Worse still the producer has tried to recreate a "live" performance by dragging two spectators into the studio, thrusting an empty glass in their hands and telling them to pretend they're at a party. When Carl introduces himself to them for the fourth time, and they try to act as though it's a great surprise and they haven't a clue what's going to happen, the whole situation becomes slightly ridiculous. The second drawback is that very little of the routines are explained. Although credits are given for most of the items (and we are told where to find detailed explanations), for anyone not already familiar with the basic effects, I'm sure it will be very frustrating to have to purchase another video or book to get the complete details.

Despite the drawbacks, I still feel the video is a worthwhile purchase.

David Hawkins, November 2000